I just wanted to post a short review of what I think about this lens and why I think it's such a damn fine deal. I started out with a Canon 450D which I still use and a 18-55 kit lens. Obviously I outgrew the lens pretty fast since I'm into portraiture more than anything so after a few months of shooting with it I picked up the Thrifty Fifty. The Thrify fifty really took my image quality to the next level as my images had far less noise than with the 18-55 and they had much more contrast, sharpness, and the bokeh and low light capability's were excellent and working with a single focal length really taught me a lot about photography and how to work with my feet.
After using the Thrifty Fifty for 3 months I decided that I wanted to get rid of it as it wasn't that good at anything besides portraits, was too tight for a lot of the photography that I wanted to do (such as environmental portraiture, landscapes, and any photography where you're in a tight spot and need something wide), and the bokeh could be harsh and distracting at times not to mention that it would miss focus in about 3/5 of the shots that I took with it even stepped down to say 3.2.
So I started to look at the best possible wide to medium telephoto lens that you can get for a crop sensor body that would be capable of shooting fast paced events such as weddings by being wide and fast, would have no variable aperture, would be sharp, a lens that I could use for any kind of portraiture and anything else that I want to shoot. I winded up looking up the Sigma 17-50 OS, Canon 17-55 IS, Tamron 17-50 VC, and the Tamron 17-50 NON VC.
I decided after reading and doing a lot of research that IS is almost useless when shooting portraiture within this focal range as shutter speed will hold you back more when it comes to motion blur than your hands will if you know how to hold a camera properly and have steady hands, the NON VC would be the best lens for the cost as the Sigma 17-50 OS is $650 whereas the Tamron 17-50 can be purchased now for $390.
The Sigma has a color cast, isn't sharp at the corners wide open, the Tamron VC isn't as sharp as the non VC version, the Canon lens is too expensive for it to not be L quality and the idea of purchasing a lens with a plastic cheap body for $1,000 turned me off big time.
So I went ahead and purchased the Tamron 17-50 Non VC and could not be happier......this lens shows some CA wide open at 17mm but at the longer focal ranges the CA disappears and 3.2 seems to be the sweet spot with this lens for getting tack sharp images every time.
This lens focuses EXTREMELY fast...much faster than my 50 1.8 and the kit lens and it's not as noisy as most people make it out to be.
Heres a few comparison shots showing the differences between all three of the lenses on my 450D body. I'd have to rate the Tamron 17-50 as THE 17-50 lens for Canon crop body's as it's the best lens for the money.
The bokeh is slightly better than the thrifty fifty (not too bad but can be distracting at times if you really try to blow everything out), the sharpness is just as good if not better than the thrify fifty and blows away the kit 18-55 lens.
At 2.8 at 17mm images are tack sharp....when stepped down to 3.2 images are tack sharp throughout the entire focal range pretty much 100% of the time. I'll let the pictures speak for themself but the build quality and glass quality of this lens is outstanding for the price that you pay.
I think that this lens paired with a Canon 85 1.8 prime is the perfect setup for anyone doing any portraiture, wedding, event photography.
I just wanted to make this post to inform other photographers that might be trying to figure out which 17-50(55) lens to get and help them out with their decision.
Here are 3 shots taken with the kit 18-55 IS.
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Three shots with the Thrifty Fifty
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The rest of the shots were taken with the Tamron 17-50 2.8 NON VC
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